World Bike Day – What is West Jordan doing to Promote Biking?

World Bike Day is wheelie fun. We hope you’re not two-tired to learn more about this international initiative. Gear up for some facts about biking, health and safety!

It’s no secret that biking is good for health and for the environment. But biking and bike lanes and trails can be liberating and equalizing for everyone.

World Bike Day was established by the United Nations in 2018. “Proponents encourage the use of the bicycle as a means of eradicating poverty; furthering sustainable development; strengthening education, including physical education, for children and young people; promoting health; preventing disease; and facilitating social inclusion and a culture of peace. (World Bicycle Day. (n.d.).

If someone can’t afford a car, a bike can open opportunities that may be otherwise too far and difficult to access.

What has West Jordan done to help promote biking?

“Everytime we resurface a road, I have the guys out there paint a bike lane,” Mayor Dirk Burton said.

Burton has been on and off a bike since childhood. “In those days you just had to be home in time for dinner. He used to deliver newspapers, pedal from Kearns to Copperton and visit family members. On his Copperton rides, he’d stop at a small cafe in town. “I would treat myself with an ice cream sundae for making the ride.”

“I would also visit my grandma and she would feed me lunch and call my Mom. I had other family members that lived around there. I didn’t know their addresses but after driving there with my parents I would just duplicate their drive,” Burton said.

Sometimes friends would join him, but they couldn’t always keep up with all the Salt Lake valley hills.

Today, he rides his 1979 French road bike, the same one he used as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in the suburbs of New York City. When his mayoral schedule allows, he rides to and from City Hall. His preferred trail in the city is the Jordan River Parkway; he once completed the entire route from Provo to Ogden in a single day! Sometimes he’ll take his dirt bike to Moab, Zion or Slickrock and breathe in the natural beauty that only Utah has to offer.

To Burton, biking isn’t for competition. “That takes all the fun out of it,” Burton said.

Biking allows him to fully immerse in his surroundings. He never uses headphones; Being able to hear surrounding traffic keeps him safe. More importantly, it allows his senses to take in the sights, smells and sounds of his home town, West Jordan.

His wife is his greatest cheerleader, but not a biking companion. She is more than willing to drop him off at a trailhead and meet him at home. Some of his children took their bike riding to new lengths. His son and daughter-in-law have biked from coast to coast in Canada, from Canada to Mexico, and even taken their own band of children through Baja Mexico on a week-long cycling adventure. In Driggs, ID, he bikes with his grandkids and their friends on their “bike-bus” through trails around town. One of his grandson’s friends said, “You’re one of my favorite old people.”

This summer he plans to step away from City Hall to bike through the longest tunnel on U.S. soil, The St. Paul Pass Tunnel along the Hiawatha trail.

Commute biking has become more popular in Utah in the past 20 years. People have become more inclined to give riders room on the road when there is a designated bike lane. In Utah, a biker has just as much right to be on the road as a car.

Mayor Burton says a reflective vest is only slightly more important than a helmet. “A helmet is important but only if you fall. A reflective vest helps prevent anything bad happening in the first place,” he said.

Here are some basic road rules for bikers and drivers.


  • Ride in the same direction as traffic.
  • Your bike is considered a vehicle and you have the same rights as any other vehicle. This means you have space on the road but you also must obey traffic signals, and stop and yield with appropriate signs.
  • You must have lights and reflective lights if you ride 30 minutes or more before sunrise/after sunset.
  • Use appropriate hand signals to inform cars where you are going, just like a light blinker on a vehicle.
  • You must always have one hand on the handle bars at all times.


  • Give all bikes on the road at least three feet of space at all times, even when passing.
  • You cannot do anything to distract or cause an accident to the bicyclist.
  • Motorists can cross centerlines or center two-way turn lanes to pass a bicycle if it can be done safely.

More highway safety guidelines: Bicycle Safety & Laws | DPS – Highway Safety (

More information about the United Nations World Bike Day: World Bicycle Day | United Nations

Take a look at an interactive map which shows bike lanes in West Jordan and Salt Lake County.

View West Jordan’s Active Transportation Plan here.

aerial view of West Jordan neighborhood